Recipe Monday Night: Pumpkin Mousse Cake.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe…mostly because I haven’t been creating any new ones lately. Sure, I’ve been baking my nights away as usual; however I’d been mostly doing things I’ve baked previously, with maybe a slight variation, but nothing I felt was worthy of its own dedicated recipe post on the blog. Until tonight. Over the weekend, I decided to create a pumpkin mousse cake. The blueprint in my mind was a one layer brown sugar-based vanilla cake with cinnamon chips, sliced into three thin layers, with two layers of pumpkin mousse in between, and topped with a very light pumpkin butter cream. And lo and behold, the finished product was exactly that. I had recipes that I created already for the cake and the buttercream to work off of, but I needed a good recipe for the mousse. I found one here that I liked very much, and made some modifications, as you’ll see below. Anyway, the cake was a hit, and would certainly be the perfect topper to any warm meal on a cool fall night.

top that.

Pumpkin Mousse Cake.

What you’ll need for the Mousse:

15 oz  pumpkin puree

1 cup half and half

3/4 cups granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoons cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups chilled heavy cream

What you’ll do for the mousse:

In a medium saucepan, stir together the pumpkin, half and half, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg, over medium heat. The mixture will soon start to “pop” – as soon as it does, start stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. If you walk away and let it keep “popping,” you will wind up with spots of pumpkin everywhere. Trust me on this. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Let the mix cool for about 20 minutes, then chill for about an hour. Whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold 1/3 of the chilled pumpkin mix into the cream, mixing until streaky. Fold in the remaining 2/3, until well blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.


What you’ll need for the cake:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon oil

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup AP flour

1/2 cup half and half

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

2 cups cinnamon chips

What you’ll do for the cake:

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Mix sugar, egg, oil and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add to egg mixture, alternately with the half and half. Fold in the cinnamon chips. Grease an 8″ round, and bake for about 18-22 minutes, or until cake pulls away from sides of pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

totally baked.

What you’ll need for the pumpkin buttercream:

8 oz butter (room temperature)

2 tablespoons pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 cups confectioners sugar

1 tablespoon half and half

What you’ll do for the buttercream:

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the butter, pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla until light and fluffy. Blend in 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar at a time. Add the milk, mix well.

what lies beneath.

To assemble the cake, slice the cake itself into three thin horizontal layers. Place one on a cake board, top with about 1/2″ layer of pumpkin mousse. Place the second layer of cake on top, and add another 1/2″ layer of pumpkin mousse. Place the third layer on top (make sure this layer has the smoothest top, as it will be the one that gets iced). Fill in any gaps around the side with mousse, smoothing as you go. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before icing the cake. Ice it with the pumpkin buttercream, and add a border of cinnamon chips. Keep cake refrigerated until ready to serve.

Recipe Sunday (New Year’s Day Edition): Orange Coconut Mousse.

Happy New Year!! This is my first post of 2012, and it also happens to be a Recipe Sunday! This is what happens when worlds collide, folks. Anyway, I thought I’d keep with a theme that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue right now: New Year’s Resolutions; the most common being some sort of combination of eat right/lose weight. Well, I can help! After all the over-indulging we’ve done over the holidays (notice I said “we”), and all the heavy food and rich desserts we’ve consumed, I thought I’d offer a light, less-fattening, yet equally delish dish for your resolution-laden desserting pleasure: Orange Coconut Mousse.

I had actually decided on the theme for this post before the recipe itself – I knew I wanted to do a light, airy, lower calorie dessert, however I couldn’t think of a single one. So, I went into the kitchen and started poking around. I came across an almost full carton of orange juice, and an equally almost full carton of heavy cream. It was a true “aha” moment: and Orange Coconut Mousse was born, and even whipped on my brand new KitchenAid Mixer!

Anyway, good luck with your resolutions, and I wish you all a positive, powerful, passionate, and pastry-filled 2012! I hope you enjoy the mousse.

if you like pina coladas…

Orange Coconut Mousse.

What you’ll need:

.25 oz powdered gelatin

8 oz orange juice

.66 oz lemon juice

1 oz sugar

.66 oz coconut rum

8 oz heavy cream (whipped)

What you’ll do:

In a pot on the stove, heat about 1/3 of the orange juice until it reaches 140 F (about 5 minutes). Add the gelatin and stir until it dissolves. Add the lemon juice and the sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rest of the orange juice, stir, and add the rum, stir. Let cool for about 10 minutes, then fold in the whipped heavy cream (should be whipped to medium/stiff peaks). Pour into desired molds (I used little ramekins) and chill. Sprinkle shredded coconut on top and enjoy a bit of the tropics in January. 🙂

tiramisu goes to the opera….cake.

My Classical Cakes class has come to a close, and I’m sad – this was my favorite class that I’ve taken. There’s a reason these cakes are classics. I’ve never tasted cakes so good in my life. This is what it’s all about people – these are the cakes that gave cake it’s good name to begin with. Not that dry, simple stuff we call cake today. This kind of cake couldn’t ever come out of a box. It takes time, attention, and some major organization. But the results are hella worth it.

Anyway, for our last cake of the class, we had to create our very own classical cake, using what we’ve learned. Well, my partner (who happens to be the best partner ever) and I decided to do a chocolate coffee kahlua cake with mascarpone mousse. It was part tiramisu, part opera cake.



opera cake


tiramisu goes to the opera cake.


In case you’re interested in recreating our nouveau classical cake pictured above, it’s a layer of chocolate genoise (soaked in kahlua coffee syrup), next a layer of coffee buttercream, followed by a thin layer of chocolate ganache, next a layer of ladyfingers (soaked with kahlua coffee syrup), a layer of mascarpone mousse, another layer of chocolate ganache, another layer of soaked ladyfingers, and finally topped off with another layer of mascaropone mousse. The whole thing is then coated with a chocolate glaze and garnished as desired (we used chocolate curls, modeling chocolate flowers, and fresh raspberries).

We got an A.


mousse: it’s what’s for dinner.

So I’m kind of excited that I’ve learned how to make a bunch of different mousses in my class this summer – caramel mousse, mascarpone mousse, chocolate mousse, fruit mousse, and my personal favorite – peanut butter mousse. The problem is that the class runs from 7 to 11. At night. I go straight from work to class, without eating dinner. So, by the end of class, I’m always starving. So what do I do? Yep, I eat the product.

peanut butter mousse cake. if this cake were a man, i'd marry it.

And now, I’m addicted to mousse. It’s so light, and fluffy, and delicious. I mean, half of it’s air right? So I’m really eating only half the calories, since we all know air is calorie-free.

there's chocolate caramel mousse (and air) in there.

Now, the wheels are churning, and I’m working on some Small Indulgences incorporating mousse. Cupcakes filled with a complimentary mousse? Mini mousse pies? Or maybe even stand-alone mousse cups! Thoughts? Suggestions? Any mousse-related mini-desserts you’d like to see? If you can dream it, and it involves mousse, I can make it. Or die trying. Ok, I probably won’t die. But a mousse-induced coma is a concern. It could happen.

fruit mousse on the bottom, hope on top.